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As a commander in the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Tom Leary is involved with the rolethe Department of Defense and military services have in the country’s strategic rebalance in the
Pacific region. He reviews and assesses the legal authorities for U.S. military ships and aircraft
to operate worldwide, including in the often legally challenging areas of the East and South China
seas. “In the Secretary of Defense’s words, our forces intend to fly, sail and operate ‘wherever
international law allows,’’’ Leary says. “My work supports the determinations of where that is
helping the U.S. military underwrite the international legal principles of freedom of navigation